Penn State Removes Famed Joe Paterno Statue Outside the PSU Beaver Stadium in Wake of Sandusky Sex Abuse Convictions


The dominoes continue to fall in the aftermath of the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse convictions …

The statue of the iconic football coach, the late Joe Paterno, was taken down Sunday morning outside of Penn State Universities football stadium. The removal of Paterno’s statue was in response to the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse convictions where he was found guilty on 45 counts.  The Joe Paterno statue, weighing more than 900 pounds, was built in 2001 in honor of JoePa’s record setting 324th Division 1 coaching victory and his “contributions to the university.” All gone, a lifetime’s work to help students, Penn St. and the community thanks to a sexual predator and efforts not done to handle the Sandusky matter appropriately.


The famed statue of Joe Paterno was taken down from outside the Penn State football stadium Sunday, eliminating a key piece of the iconography surrounding the once-sainted football coach accused of burying child sex abuse allegations against a retired assistant.

Workers lifted the 7-foot-tall statue off its base and used a forklift to move it into Beaver Stadium as the 100 to 150 students watching chanted, “We are Penn State.”

The removal of the Paterno statue comes as an aftershock of the Freeh Report following the school’s investigation into the child sex abuse scandal against former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. Joe Paterno statue removed; however, the library name to remain. Ok, let me see if I understand this, Joe Paterno’s sports contributions are bad, and his academic one’s are good. Hmm, I am not sure if I really agree with this. According to the university president it is all about “symbolism”. Sorry, but its hard to differentiate the two. Do I think it is heinous and incredible wrong for Paterno not to have done more against child predator Sandusky, YES! However, what if Joe Paterno’s name was on Beaver Stadium? Does that mean it get’s removed from the football field, but not the library? Sorry, that makes no sense. You can’t have it both ways. If as some say, Paterno is no hero, well then how is he one for academics?

He said Paterno’s name will remain on the campus library because it “symbolizes the substantial and lasting contributions to the academic life and educational excellence that the Paterno family has made to Penn State University.”

Penn State University president Rodney Erickson announced the decision Sunday morning in the following statement:

“Contrary to its original intention, Coach Paterno’s statue has become a source of division and an obstacle to healing in our university and beyond,” said Erickson in a statement. “For that reason, I have decided that it is in the best interest of our university and public safety to remove the statue and store it in a secure location. I believe that, were it to remain, the statue will be a recurring wound to the multitude of individuals across the nation and beyond who have been the victims of child abuse.”

Joe Paterno Banished to the desert

Trust me, no one is more disappointed in Joe Paterno and I am not a PSU alumni. However, I grew up in the Northeast and in many respects Penn St was our only large college football team, and had friend that attended PSU. I also understand why the statue was removed. That being said, if Paterno has gone from Saint to Satan then it seems like the university is sending a mixed message and splitting the issue. If PSU administrators really believed that Paterno was a distraction and divisive, they would have declared an edict like Ramesses in ‘The Ten Commandments’ to stricken Moses name from all the scrolls, tablets and buildings and banished him to the desert.

It just is mind blowing to me that Sandusky was allowed to have access to PSU facilities and have an office on campus after Paterno was made aware of what Sandusky had done. I just don’t get how Paterno could have been so clueless and jeopardize all the good that he did for Penn State U.

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  • Comments

    10 Responses to “Penn State Removes Famed Joe Paterno Statue Outside the PSU Beaver Stadium in Wake of Sandusky Sex Abuse Convictions”

    1. A Texas Grandfather on July 22nd, 2012 9:37 am

      I don’t believe that Joe Paterno was cluless regarding the Sandusky problem as you state in your piece. Paterno was certainly faced with a dilemma regarding the other players in the cover up. I believe he would have lost his job if he had not gone along with the administration to keep everything a secret. This was a major moral choice and Paterno failed and now must pay the penality.

    2. Tamikosmom on July 22nd, 2012 10:36 am

      Don’t Be an Enabler — When a Child Is Abused, Here’s What to Do
      By Michael Reagan
      Published November 10, 2011

      Allegations of child sexual abuse by a former assistant football coach at Penn State University have dominated the news this week. On Wednesday legendary football coach Joe Paterno released a statement in which he said, “With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more.” How lame is that, coach?

      Would you have accepted that excuse from one of your players? “With the benefit of hindsight, coach, I wish I had run the route we rehearsed a thousand times in practice.” See how stupid that sounds? It doesn’t take “hindsight” to know that when some monster is raping children in your locker room, you call the police.

      Coach, you knew back in 2002 that Jerry Sandusky had anally raped a ten-year-old boy in the Lasch Football Building. You handled the matter quietly with your athletic director, Tim Curley. You took away the rapist’s keys and barred him from the facility—but you didn’t call the police. You didn’t lift a finger to help the victim. No hindsight needed, coach. You screwed up.

      Yes, we all know about your 61-year career at Penn State. But when you allow children to be victimized right under your nose, you wipe out 61 years of achievement. The Jerry Sandusky scandal is your legacy now/

      Read More:


      Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan. He is a political consultant, the founder and chairman of The Reagan Group, and president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Visit his website at, and visit the Michael Reagan Center at Arrow Child & Family ministries. Portions of this column are adapted from his book “Twice Adopted.”

    3. Tamikosmom on July 22nd, 2012 10:38 am

      Sandusky on Trial; Michael Reagan Recounts Own Abuse
      Aired June 14, 2012 – 21:00 ET

      MICHAEL REAGAN: I don’t think there’s a child out there who hasn’t been sexually abused and isn’t right now reliving what these young men are, in fact, testifying, too, and how they’re having to relive it as I talk to you tonight.

      I just have a knot in my stomach because these stories are so familiar to those of us who in fact have lived these stories with these predators that are out there. And you and I have talked about this before, you know, off-air, the fact that, you know, for a year of my life when I was 8 years old I was sexually abused by a day camp counselor. But this is a man that ultimately took me up to the Santa Monica Mountains, had me take my clothes off, took photographs of me, and had me develop the photographs and said, wouldn’t your mother like to have a copy?

      My life ended that day. Absolutely ended. I didn’t tell my wife, my mother, my father, my sister, until 1987 when I wrote my first book. And you never forget these things. This is something you just learned to put in a compartment of your life. But it comes out every once in a while. Because it takes everything away from you when an adult does this to you as a child.

    4. Just Bearly on July 22nd, 2012 10:42 am

      They should just let Joe Pa rest in peace. Regardless of whether or not he enabled Sandusky by turning a blind eye, its probably the right thing to do to remove the statue from its campus location so it will not stir up the bad memories. Maybe they can put the statue at his gravesite or give it to his relatives.

    5. flutter1 on July 22nd, 2012 11:21 am

      This is what happens when institutions put certain activities (ie football programs) and their participants on a pedestal. Paterno was a flawed man in many ways. He was so indoctrinated to Penn State’s high and mighty football reputation, that he sold his soul. He is not the first, won’t be the last but is certainly the the most high profile. I hope God will forgive him and his sins will in some way cause people to look deeper into those and what they idolize.

    6. paula on July 22nd, 2012 11:22 am

      I understand that everybody loved him but he made the wrong decision. He disgraced himself and his family. And…how many young boys did he let down?

    7. Scared Monkeys on July 22nd, 2012 12:04 pm


      I agree 100%, however, its not just sports programs. Although I understand your point. There have been programs in high school and college a lot less prominent than PSU that have allowed rapes, assaults, ect to be passed by as they they never occurred. Many never came to the public’s attention.

      Obviously JoePa is a flawed individual, we all are. He was put on a pedestal because of wins and losses, not because of what he may have done for the University. No college would have cared if he did great things for players and the university and had a losing record. That’s the reality, football coaches are judges on wins.

      Colleges have allowed many things to be overlooked, as long as the person with the indiscretion was considered larger than the sin. PSU should have known better that something like this would not come back to bite them.

      How could PSU have allowed a dirt-bag, POS, child predator take down someone who was considered one of the most beloved coaches of all time and Penn St itself.


    8. Inquiring Minds on July 22nd, 2012 1:55 pm

      What a tragedy to all involved who ever knew Jerry Sandusky. This scumbag managed to destroy everything in his path.

    9. NCAA Will Announce “Unprecedented” Penalties Against both Penn State University Football and the Universityol | Scared Monkeys on July 22nd, 2012 3:38 pm

      [...] The removal of the Joe Paterno statue in front of Beaver stadium is the least of PSU’s worries when it comes to NCAA sanctions and penalties. However, it is being reported that Penn State football will not receive the “death penalty” like that of the infamous SMU Mustangs of the 1980′s. But could the “death penalty” actually be preferable?  As reported at ESPN, NCAA president Mark Emmert has decided to punish Penn State with severe penalties likely to include a significant loss of scholarships and loss of multiple bowls. Normally, a football program is sanctioned for illegal recruiting or habitual practices against NCAA rules. But Penn State will not receive the so-called “death penalty” that would have suspended the program for at least one year, the source said. [...]

    10. NCAA Announces They Will Restore Previously Vacated 112 Penn State Football Wins Making Joe Paterno Again the Winningest Coach in Major College Football History | Scared Monkeys on January 16th, 2015 1:48 pm

      [...] I wonder how long it will be before PSU brings back Joe Pa’s the statue? [...]

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